# Tricks for solving NSMQ questions in less than 5 seconds

The National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ) is a Ghanaian Science and Maths quiz that has attained global recognition and interest. It is the brainchild of Prime Time of which has become an important yearly competition at the Senior High School and is open to all Public Secondary Schools in Ghana.

Candidates and schools that compete need to master the tricks of the NSMQ questions in less than 5 seconds. This, apart from helping the students and their respective schools to excel, can also help WASSCE candidates who master these tricks to do well in the final West African Examination Council-administered examination.

Let us take a look at some of the tricks for solving NSMQ questions in less than 5 seconds, which work for all students, including you.

How to Solve Quadratic Equations in less than 15 seconds.

Quadratic Equations are equations that take the form ax ^2 + bx + c =0 and where a, b, and c are constant variables.

Now if a is = 1 then the quadratic equation becomes x ^2 + bx + c =0

The fastest way to solve this is to find 2 factors of the constant, which if added will yield a constant “b”

Let us say that u and v are the right factors. In that case, to solve the equation, reverse the sign of each factor. The results of this is the solution.

The solution, in this case, will be x = – u or -v

Let us now solve a typical examination or NSMQ example using the under 15 seconds approach shared above.

Our question of interest is

Q1. X^2 + 5x + 4 = 0

The solution:

The factors that when added give us 5 are 1 and 4

Therefore, x = -1 or -4

Let us look at another example

Q2. X^2 – 4x – 3 = x + 3

Now the factors of -6 which when added will give us -5 are 1 and -6

Hence, the solution to the question is X^2 – 4x – 3 = x + 3 is -1 and 6

Q3. X^2 + 9x + 14 = 0

The correct factors of 14 are 2 and 7.

Thus, per the question, x is either -2 or -7

Solving Zeros of a function

Let us solve the following two examples

X^3 – 4x^2 – 9x + 36

Since the power of x is 3, we will need to provide three answers for the value x.

Step1 : Factorize

Thus, you get x^(x-4) – 9 (x-4)

Note that what you get in the bracket on the left should be the same as what you get in the bracket on the right after factorizing.

In the above, the first answer is x = 4

Next, we deal with the variables in the bracket

Thus, (x^2 – 9)(x-4) = 0

Thus

You get x = + or – 3,4

Question 4

x^3 + +x^2 – (x-3)

Let us find the zeros of the function by factorizing the equation.

Thus, x^2(x+3) – (x-) = 0

This gives us (x+3)(x^2-1) = 0

You get x = + -3 or 1

READ: **Mastering Logarithms in WASSCE: Tips and Tricks for Success**

We hope these Tricks for solving NSMQ questions in less than 5 seconds can be applied by you in your attempt to master solving these kinds of questions

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